Corning Announces Investment in Gen 10 LCD Glass Substrates

2007-12-06 12:09 1002

-- Company will co-locate facility with Sharp in Japan

CORNING, N.Y., Dec. 6 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) on Dec 5, 2007 announced that its board of directors has approved a five-year capital expenditure plan of $795 million to co-locate a glass manufacturing facility at Sharp Corporation's plant in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

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Corning's investment will be incurred over a five-year period, with an initial capital expenditure of $400 million in 2008. Glass substrate production from the new facility is expected to meet Sharp's plan to begin mass production of LCD panels for large televisions at its new fab by March 2010.

This investment will enable Corning to be the first manufacturer of TFT-grade Gen 10 substrates and the primary supplier of Sharp's Gen 10 glass needs. At 2850 mm x 3050 mm, Gen 10 will be the largest LCD glass substrate available. The Gen 10 substrates manufactured at this facility will use Corning's revolutionary EAGLE XG(TM) glass composition. As the first LCD glass to contain no added heavy metals or halides, EAGLE XG is the most environmentally friendly LCD glass on the market.

"Very large-size glass substrates offer superior economies of scale to display manufacturers, ultimately helping to make large LCD TVs more affordable for consumers," said Peter F. Volanakis, president and chief operating officer. "Developing substrates this large will represent a major milestone in the history of the LCD industry, and Corning is pleased to have a leadership role in the industry's continued advancement."

"Corning offers superior technical capabilities in the field of LCD glass substrates. The close collaboration between Sharp and Corning at our ‘Manufacturing Complex for the 21st Century' can be expected to engender innovations through our combined manufacturing experience and technology," said Mikio Katayama, president and chief operating officer, Sharp Corporation.

In 2006 Corning signed a long-term supply agreement with Sharp for its Gen 8 fab, but this is Corning's first major co-location with a customer. "We are pleased to continue our close relationship with Sharp through this arrangement," said James P. Clappin, president of Corning Display Technologies. "The timing is right, since LCD televisions of increasingly larger size are quickly becoming a product of choice for consumers worldwide."

Previously, the company said it believes that LCD television penetration will reach 36 percent of the global TV market this year, rising to 47 percent in 2008. Over the past two years, the 40-inch-and-above LCD TV market has been a primary driver of growth for LCD glass demand. This growth in glass demand is expected to continue, in part driven by the emergence of 50-inch-and-larger LCD TVs.

Corning stated that it expects the overall LCD glass substrate market to reach 1.7 billion square feet in 2007 and to grow again by at least 400 million square feet in 2008.

About Corning Incorporated

Corning Incorporated ( ) is the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics. Drawing on more than 150 years of materials science and process engineering knowledge, Corning creates and makes keystone components that enable high-technology systems for consumer electronics, mobile emissions control, telecommunications and life sciences. Our products include glass substrates for LCD televisions, computer monitors and laptops; ceramic substrates and filters for mobile emission control systems; optical fiber, cable, hardware & equipment for telecommunications networks; optical biosensors for drug discovery; and other advanced optics and specialty glass solutions for a number of industries including semiconductor, aerospace, defense, astronomy and metrology.

Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a variety of business risks and other uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include the possibility of changes in global economic and political conditions; currency fluctuations; product demand and industry capacity; competition; manufacturing efficiencies; cost reductions; availability of critical components and materials; new product commercialization; changes in the mix of sales between premium and non-premium products; new plant start-up costs; possible disruption in commercial activities due to terrorist activity, armed conflict, political instability or major health concerns; adequacy of insurance; equity company activities; acquisition and divestiture activities; the level of excess or obsolete inventory; the rate of technology change; the ability to enforce patents; product and components performance issues; stock price fluctuations; and adverse litigation or regulatory developments. Additional risk factors are identified in Corning's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the day that they are made, and Corning undertakes no obligation to update them in light of new information or future events.

Source: Corning Incorporated